Volvo Website
Newspaper about trucks, cars, and ground transportation. Published monthly and distributed in Greater Toronto Area, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver.
DorogaRoad is proud to partner with DAT to offer a special on the 3sixty Express load board to our clients. 3sixty Express is powered by the DAT Load Board network - the industry's leading load board, with over 68 Million loads and trucks annually
Cargo securement to be focus of this year's Roadcheck inspection blitz

Truck inspectors across North America will be busy June 2-4, when about 10,000 of them conduct truck and bus inspections over a 72-hour period as part of CVSA's International Roadcheck.

The initiative involves CVSA-certified state, local, provincial and federal inspectors in Canada, the US and Mexico. It is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world, with nearly 17 trucks or buses inspected, on average, every minute during the 72-hour period.

This year, International Roadcheck will be focusing on cargo securement. CVSA inspectors will highlight cargo safety and educate drivers and carriers about the topic.

"For many types of loads, particularly those that are not sealed or otherwise inaccessible to the driver, regulations require the driver to stop within the first several miles of a trip and recheck the tie-downs and other load securing equipment," CVSA reminds drivers.

Most inspections will be of the comprehensive Level 1 variety, involving 37 steps, including a driver and vehicle examination.

These inspections cover the braking system, coupling devices, exhaust system, frame, fuel system, lights, load safety, steering mechanism, driveline, suspension, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels and rims and windshield wipers.

Since Roadcheck began in 1988, more than 1.4 million inspections have taken place during the event. The CVSA estimates this initiative has saved 318 lives and prevented 5,840 injuries.


The dangers of trucking

Phillip Whitmer spends his days getting in and out of big trucks, teaching new drivers the rules of the road...


Phillip Whitmer spends his days getting in and out of big trucks, teaching new drivers the rules of the road.

The dangers of trucking

"To be safe and enter the workforce and help move America's economy," the Baker College teacher said.

He always has safety in his rear view mirror as he teaches future truckers at Baker College. With more than 100,000 accidents nationwide each year involving big trucks, 30 percent of them fatal, safety matters most.

"Don't get DUIs, don't talk on the phone when driving down the highway, obey the rules," Whitmer said.

But are drivers always following the advice of their teachers?

Doroga Road Magazine cover. Current Issue.
Doroga Road Magazine cover. Current Issue.

Officer Larry Thiel with the Michigan State Police welcomed TV5 aboard. They were there as he stopped a truck at the I-75 rest stop in Bay County. It was near the end of his shift.

"The traffic stop was for two reasons. Number one, it was for equipment violation. And number two, it was for cell phone use, which also leads a little bit to distracted driving," Thiel said.

That's all it takes to put the brakes on a big rig, a minor problem that often leads to a full blown inspection.

"Everything that we inspect on the left side of the truck, as we circle around, the lights, the tires, the wheels, everything. We circle around and repeat the process on the right side as we go back up," Thiel said.

Sometimes the inspections reveal something worse.

"This tire's been cut across the tread, so we'll take a little bit closer look at that," he said.

The driver of the truck said he didn't even know about it.

"Obviously they're not very old. I just wasn't aware it had a gash in it like that," the driver said.

For an industry that has taken a beating over the years the I-team discovered crash numbers are actually down. In Michigan there were more than 10,000 last year and 94 of them were fatal.

"I don't think it's a bad, rogue industry anymore, those days are gone," said Lt. Charles Black, with the Michigan State Police.

Black is the commanding officer for the commercial vehicle division, the unit patrolling I-75 in Mid-Michigan. He is most alarmed by distracted driving.

"Things like talking on the cell phone, that's nationally prohibited. They can use a headset, bluetooth, but there shouldn't be anything in their hands," Black said.

Keep in mind accidents are not always the trucker at fault. The feds say 75 percent of truck accidents are actually caused by a smaller passenger vehicle.

"The vehicles around the commercial vehicles are causing a lot of the problems. It's not always the trucks fault," Black said.

Black said all drivers need to understand operating a big truck isn't like driving your own car.

"We run up to 164,000 pounds. So compare that to your 3,000 pound car. The stopping distance is going to be quite different," Black said.

Back at Baker, Whitmer uses a lengthy class to promote safety and change the perception that dogged the industry for so long.

Whitmer also said trucking companies are policing themselves, using technology to monitor if a driver is getting sleepy so they know when to pull that driver off the road.

"There's always that percentage whether you're four-wheel or 18-wheel, driving haphazardly and in an unsafe manner," Whitmer said.